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   Vol. 70/No. 3           January 23, 2006  
Join ‘Militant’ sub renewal campaign!
Letter from the editor
(front page)
Dear Reader,

If your subscription has just expired or is about to run out we urge you to renew. We also invite you to join a five-week campaign, beginning January 16, to increase the Militant’s long-term readership.

The effort builds on the success of last fall’s sub drive when 3,200 people signed up—double the original projection. The bulk of the new readers were working people resisting the employers’ attacks on wages and working conditions, as well as youth attracted to these struggles of the working class.

Hundreds of these subscriptions are about to run out now.

The kick-off of the sub renewal campaign coincides with redoubled efforts by partisans of the Militant to expand support for defending the paper, along with coal miners in Utah and the United Mine Workers of America, against a harassment lawsuit by Utah mine bosses leading up to a January 25 court hearing on the case (see front-page article).

Starting now also builds on the momentum of sales in the coalfields across the United States. In West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Alabama, southern Illinois, Utah, and Washington State working people in coal mining areas bought 12 subscriptions and 430 copies of the last issue featuring the article “Bosses’ profit drive killed coal miners in W. Virginia.”

Militant supporters got a good response in coal mining communities in northern West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania last week. They sold 110 papers and three subscriptions.

About 10 readers reached out January 7-8 to working people in Buckhannon, Philippi, Fairmont, and Kingwood, West Virginia, as well as Masontown, Pennsylvania. “The door-to-door response rate on these sales was very high, close to 50 percent,” reported Tony Lane, who helped organize the teams. “One union miner who had recently subscribed took a bundle of five papers to get around at work.” At Consolidated Coal’s Blacksville #2 mine near Morgantown seven miners bought the Militant. Workers bought 6 copies at the Shoemaker mine in the West Virginia panhandle, and 11 at two portal sales at the Bailey mine in Greene County, Pennsylvania.

In Birmingham, Alabama, Militant supporters met miners originally from West Virginia, including a man whose father worked at the Sago Mine when it was union. “Many people were very positive about supporting struggles to strengthen the unions and for safety at the workplace,” reported Maurice Williams. Teams in Alabama sold 123 papers.

Several readers sold the Militant door-to-door in the towns of Ashland and Shenandoah in the anthracite coal region of northeast Pennsylvania. In one afternoon on January 7 they sold 33 copies and one subscription. “As soon as you show the paper you realize everyone in these towns knows what’s going on in West Virginia,” said Ben O’Shaughnessy, a college student in Albany and Young Socialist who joined the effort. Spanish-speaking workers who had just moved to the area were pleased to be introduced to El Militante, said Janet Post.

At the Crown #2 mine near Virden, Illinois, four readers sold 22 Militants and one sub. In the Price, Utah, area 142 Militants were sold along with six subscriptions. “Twenty people also came to a January 7 Militant Labor Forum on the West Virginia mine disaster, including eight working miners from nearby coal mines, all of whom took part in the discussion,” reported Alyson Kennedy from Price. Supporters of the paper from Seattle sold 8 papers to miners at a surface coal mine in Centralia, Washington, organized by the Operating Engineers, said Cecelia Moriarity.

This kind of response bodes well for convincing many subscribers to renew by February 20, when the renewal drive ends. The aim is to convince at least 500 readers to extend their subs, a goal that will be adjusted when local distributors send quotas they adopt by January 25. Every reader can help by talking to co-workers, fellow students, and family and friends. Or you can be part of teams other distributors nearest you organize at plant gates, workers’ neighborhoods and rural communities, campuses, and for phone banking (see directory ).

Join us in helping to increase the long-term readership of this socialist newsweekly published in the interests of working people!

Argiris Malapanis
Related articles:
Unionize the mines!
Workers respond to W. Virginia mine disaster  
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